Which club has the most concerns going into the 2020 season?
With a host of injuries and setbacks to key-players during pre-season, Conor McKenna returning to Ireland indefinitely, the future of Joe Daniher and the supposed coaching succession plan, Cornes has his concerns.
The former Port star said the Dons can’t afford to extend their 15-year drought of not winning a final.
“It’s been a shocking week for the Bombers,” Cornes told SEN’s The Captain’s Run.
“On Monday, it was revealed that ruckman Tom Bellchambers is in doubt for Round 1, he’s had knee surgery. On Tuesday, Irish excitement machine and one of my favourite players in the game, Conor McKenna, he’s gone back home … he is homesick.
“Yesterday, Tippa (Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti), he’s pinged a calf; he’s in doubt for Round 1. And this spate of unfortunate injury news … Michael Hurley, David Zaharakis, Cale Hooker and Dyson Heppell all sitting out pre-season, all four yet to return through the main training group.
“If the Bombers’ three most exciting players – Tippa, McKenna and Daniher – aren’t playing, which Essendon players are going to entice you through the gates?
“The club already has a questionable coaching succession plan – which I hate – its best players are injured, and he wants out – that’s Daniher – they’ve got the longest injury list in the competition, and its best player is sidelined (Daniher).
“It’s been 15 years since this once proud club has won a final, it can’t afford to make it 16 years. They are the club that I am most concerned about ahead of the season opener in five weeks.”
The Bombers face Fremantle in Round 1 at Marvel Stadium and it’s looking like a race against time for the Bombers to be fully ready for the season opener.